"They are suspiciously silent about the current controversy involving NGCP."
Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and ex-Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario are making a big political publicity gimmick over the on-going territorial dispute between the Philippines and Communist China over areas of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) which, under International Law, belong to the Philippines.
Carpio and del Rosario have been out of the national political scene for so long that they badly want to be back whatever the cost.
They have identified themselves with the fragmented opposition to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the hope that the electorate will vote for political opposition candidates in the 2022 elections.
That’s a pipe dream.
In the May 2019 midterm elections, the eight-member Otso Diretso senatorial ticket fielded by the unpopular Liberal Party (LP) got clobbered badly. Not a single one of them won in the race for 12 senatorial seats up for grabs.
It was doomsday for the Otso Diretso gang from the very start. Their handlers were unable to field a complete 12-member senatorial slate. This explains their desperate decision to allow a military mutineer, an ex-government lawyer with a defective understanding of the Constitution, and an unknown senatorial wannabe from Mindanao to join the Otso Diretso ticket.
The Otso Diretso Waterloo in 2019 only goes to show how despised the LP and its figureheads are. It also underscores the immense popularity of President Duterte.
Carpio and del Rosario know that the Liberal Party cannot deliver the votes in next year’s polls. That is why they launched their so-called 1Sambayan Party last June 12, in the vain hope of getting their upstart organization anointed as the political opposition party in the 2022 electoral derby.
As organizers of 1Sambayan, Carpio and del Rosario know they are assured of slots in the senatorial line-up of their group, no matter how doomed that line-up is.
Carpio claims he is not interested in running for President or senator, but judging from the equivocal ways he has comported himself in the past, his disclaimer should not be believed. Given the possible financial support of the many foreign corporate clients of his law firm, Carpio may still anoint himself somehow, and proclaim himself “savior” of the country.
I know a columnist in another newspaper who likes Carpio’s equivocal brand of politics, but she is delusional.
Carpio and del Rosario also know that President Duterte remains so intensely popular today that the political opposition has nothing, no issue, no scandal, no anomaly, to use against the Duterte administration in the coming polls. That is why they are making the most of the WPS dispute.
President Duterte has resorted to diplomacy and solace from world public opinion to protect Philippine interests in the WPS, and rightly so, because the pragmatic person that he is, Duterte knows that the Philippines cannot afford to go to war with China. One should not go to war if one knows he cannot win that war.
Carpio and del Rosario are aware of that, but it is not what they want the voters to believe. Through their public announcements and speaking engagements, this scheming duo want to make it appear that President Duterte’s diplomacy is weakness in the face of Chinese aggression.
By unfairly portraying President Duterte as a pushover in the WPS dispute, the Carpio-del Rosario comedy tandem believe that they can hoodwink the voters into seeing them as staunch anti-China nationalists who will never allow Beijing and its minions to bully the Philippines.
It is, however, very obvious that Carpio and del Rosario are merely using the WPS dispute as part of their partisan political campaign to get power for themselves. They are not really interested in the maritime dispute. They just need an issue, even a flimsy one, to use against President Duterte in the hope of discrediting the administration candidates in the 2022 elections.
If Carpio and del Rosario are really concerned about Chinese domination over the Philippines and our country’s interests, why are they suspiciously silent about the current controversy involving NGCP, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines?
NGCP is a private corporation operating a public utility under a franchise issued by Congress. The supply and availability of electricity throughout the Philippines depends on NGCP.
China is part owner of NGCP, but from the way NGCP’s top management has behaved for the past several years, it is controlled by China. News reports reveal that NGCP has been flagrantly violating the Constitution, the Anti-Dummy Law, regulations issued by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission, and the provisions of its own franchise.
Through NGCP, China can paralyze the entire Philippines simply by closing the country’s electricity grid. Yet, Carpio and del Rosario are silent on this issue.
It seems that Carpio and del Rosario have something to hide.